Picture of Jello Playdough
Store bought playdough is so boring compared to what you can do at home! Homemade playdough can be scented, texturized, and in other ways personalized. Not to mention the bonding experience!
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
1 Cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
1 three ounce package of jello - flavor of your choice. *Note, the flavor you choose will be the scent of your playdough. In our case we used lemon, so the final result is lemon scented and yellow.

Step 2: Combine ingredients.

Picture of Combine ingredients.
Couldn't be simpler. Get a big mixing bowl and start measuring, scooping, dumping, and pouring.

The young lady in the photo is almost five and is able to do most of this with only minimal assistance. We couldn't fit our tablespoon into the cream of tartar container, so i filled the spoon for her to dump, and I poured the oil - that's a mess you don't want to have to clean up, ever!

Homemade playdough is also fun as they can taste test the ingredients. Don't let them scoop and big bunch of salt into their mouths - they might throw up. More of a reaction than you're probably looking for. And its interesting to taste jello before its turned into its usual jiggly form.

If you're doing this with a smaller someone, I suggest premeasuring ingredients so the ingredients are ready to be dumped into the big bowl. Also, be ready to help guide younger hands so the ingredients don't get dumped before reaching the mixing bowl!

Step 3: Cooking - this is a mommy job, not a kid job.

Picture of Cooking - this is a mommy job, not a kid job.
Pour into a saucepan. I prefer a teflon coated saucepan to reduce sticking.

*This scalds easily, so use a medium (not high) heat.

Stir continuously. It will gradually begin to thicken, first becoming thicker, then lumpy, then clumpy, then just one big ball!

is thus playdough edible by any chance?

i ment this, sorry

katie12123 years ago
can you cook the playdough to make ornaaments
woowho (author)  katie12123 years ago
The vegetable oil keeps this dough moist. You could experiment with drying them, but as they dry they will shrink as the moisture evaporates and they may crack. An easy dough recipe for ornaments is:

Mix 4 c. flour, 1 c. salt, some food coloring and enough water to moisten.

I've made regular dough and substituted a cup of cinnamon for a cup of flour with good results for scented Christmas ornaments. Mayhaps I'll do my next Instructable on holiday ornament making! Thanks for the inspiration! :-D
Arthai5 years ago
 I've bookmarked this! I haven't done it yet but I'd love to! Your directions are very clear and encouraging, I'd love to do this with my little sister! 
hishealer5 years ago

Your little chef is adorable!  Is she half as sweet as she is cute?

woowho (author)  hishealer5 years ago
she is amazing whatever her mood may be!
Absolutely love this. Did it as an x-mas present, so my own almost 5 year old didn't help (or it wouldn't have been a surprise), but it was very simple, and when we refill it I will definitely include her. The playdough you get is amazing, it looks and feels like the real thing, only I can give this to my daughter (who has aspergers) and my one year old son, and not worry about they're safety should they decide to eat it. I know play-doh is supposed to be nontoxic, but this is all food which makes me feel much better!
woowho (author)  fragile.ecstasy5 years ago
i'm so glad  you're having fun with it! i will be back home soon and will be posting some more recipes for fun things that we make, and maybe my other munchkins will star in them as well. :-)
mathman475 years ago
I'm forwarding this onto my daughter.  She loves playing with the Grandchildren and this will be a perfect project.
limpach5 years ago
I believe you can also use kool-aide in place of the jello.
I can still remember the first (and only) time I tasted Kool-Aid from the pack... >.<
woowho (author) 5 years ago
yep - koolaid and the jello both add color and scent making playdoh a multitactile experience! (is multitactile a word???) i'm going to do a bunch of playdough instructables, so stay tuned... :-)
I believe "multisensory" is the word you're looking for.

Cute idea for play-dough!
... Although, I like the sound of 'multitactictile' I might just have to add that to my vocabulary. ;)

Then again, tactile is the sense of touch, right? so that would mean a plurality of the sense of touch even though it can only be singular. Interesting. :)
I think multitactile could be used as a word to describe an experience although it's not in the dictionary.

"Sliding between the sheets in a dream-like stupor, I felt the multitactile sensation of floating between cotton threads."

However, the word would only relate to touch/tangibility, as you pointed out, rather than smell, sight, sound, and taste.
woowho (author)  AngryRedhead5 years ago
yeah, multisensory. i must've been thinking about adding textures, like play sand or coffee grinds!
oops, forgot my original comment! Love this stuff, my mom made this all the time when I was a kid. I think the recipe is a bit different, but we called it 'salt dough' because of it's salty taste (and the taste of your fingers afterwords!). We usually would make something then bake it forming a relatively permanent figure that could be painted etc.